High-Performance Computing

University of Cambridge Introduces HPC-as-a-Service Offering

The University of Cambridge has implemented a high-performance computing (HPC)-as-a-service resource to support the scientific and technology research community. The service runs on the Red Hat OpenStack Platform, and the university has partnered with Red Hat to help bring HPC capabilities to the upstream OpenStack community.

The university's High Performance Computing Service operates two principal high-performance computing clusters: a large CPU cluster known as Darwin, and an energy-efficient GPU cluster known as Wilkes. In an effort to extend its high performance and research computing services to the broader scientific and technology research community, the university has established a new HPC-as-a-service offering.

Cambridge's HPC-as-a-service runs on the OpenStack open source software for creating public and private cloud-computing services. During the proof-of-concept phase of the project, the university implemented OpenStack on a community-supported Linux distribution. Ultimately they determined that they would need "a more reliable, integrated and supported OpenStack platform for production deployment," according to a news release. At that point, the university turned to the Red Hat OpenStack Platform, which is "a highly scalable, production-ready Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution," according to the company.

As part of the collaboration between the University of Cambridge and Red Hat, the organizations plan to contribute HPC capabilities to the upstream OpenStack community, which will help "to advance the open source cloud platform for scientific research use cases," according to Red Hat.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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